Snow Ridge Ski Resort, often hailed as the snowiest resort in New York, suffered significant damage on Monday evening when an EF-3 tornado, boasting peak winds of 140 mph, ravaged its facilities.
The National Weather Service confirmed that the tornado, which left a destructive path 700 feet wide and spanned 16 miles, initially touched down at 7:42 p.m. in Lewis, NY. The severe storm system uplifted roofs from two local residences before taking its wrath to Snow Ridge. The resort’s three chairlifts were critically impacted, with all their haul ropes snapping. Furthermore, the tornado caused extensive damage to various buildings, including overturning lift edifices. Notably, a tree was hurled onto Snow Ridge’s Pisten Bully 200 snowcat, while a yurt on the premises was obliterated.
“The Ridge got hit pretty hard by last evening’s tornado. Everyone is safe, which is the most important thing, but this damage really hurts. All three chair lift lines were struck by multiple trees, our Pisten Bully 200 has a tree through the cab, and some of the biggest damage was done to Little Mtn buildings and chairlift, including our yurt, which is no longer there. We are devastated but will rebuild. Hoping everyone in our little community stayed safe and is ok today. We appreciate the outpouring of support more than you know!”
– Resort statement
Despite the widespread destruction, the resort confirmed the safety of its community. “The Ridge got hit pretty hard by last evening’s tornado,” said a statement on Snow Ridge’s official Facebook page. “Everyone is safe, which is the most important thing, but this damage really hurts.”
The message expressed heartfelt gratitude for the continued support from their patrons and the local community. “While we continue to assess the full damage, our hearts are warmed by the backing of everyone who has reached out to us and are willing to help us start this journey of rebuilding,” the post added.
“Wanted to give everyone an update with the official National Weather Service Report and continued damage found to our lifts yesterday. Once again, we can’t thank you all enough for your continued support, it means more than you know. We are all eager to get started on clean up but we ask that people stay out of the debris fields until further safety assessments can be made. We will continue to keep everyone updated on this process and when we can schedule volunteer days.”
– Resort statement
It’s worth noting that this is not an isolated incident for ski resorts in the state. In 2021, Woods Valley confronted a similar disaster, resulting in damages to their facilities but managed a rebound for the subsequent ski season.
C3, a local organization, is spearheading recovery efforts with a fundraising raffle to assist Snow Ridge in its restoration endeavors.
“Upon reaching Snow Ridge ski Resort, tree damage increased to snapping of hardwood trees at the rootline and some defoliation. On the ski resort land all of the chair lift metal cables failed, damaged, some chair lift structures were overtunred or damaged, and the track of damage greatly widened as the storm continued north-northeastward. The greatest damage of the entire track was from Snow Ridge Ski Resort to the West Wind Motel in Turin. Several structures saw completed roof failures, interior wall failures, window failures, and a one multi-story building was shifted from its foundation with its entire roof removed.”
– NWS Statement